Seamus Coleman says he ‘feels like a professional footballer again’ after Everton defender starts long road back after double leg break

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‘I’M A FIGHTER’

Wales’ Neil Taylor has been handed a two-game ban for the horror tackle on Republic of Ireland defender during World Cup Qualifier

SEAMUS COLEMAN has vowed to overcome his injury nightmare with Everton after his double leg break.

And on the same day Wales’ Neil Taylor was handed an extended two-game ban by Fifa for his horror tackle on the Ireland captain.

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Seamus Coleman is back at Everton and is desperate to come back stronger than ever after his horror injury

Coleman broke his silence but did not reference the tackle when he spoke for the first time since Taylor’s reckless challenge in the World Cup qualifier in Dublin last month.


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Coleman, who has returned from Ireland to continue his recovery at Everton, said: “For this injury to happen is something I never wanted.

Seamus Coleman's world came crashing down when he broke his leg in two places playing for Republic of Ireland

Sportsfile

Seamus Coleman’s world came crashing down when he broke his leg in two places playing for Republic of Ireland

Wales' Neil Taylor saw red for the horror tackle that ended Seamus Coleman's season

PA:Press Association

Wales’ Neil Taylor saw red for the horror tackle that ended Seamus Coleman’s season

“It’s great to be back, obviously, not in the best circumstances, I’d rather be fit and well but that isn’t the case.

“I’ve had a good month at home in Ireland to get my head around everything and now I’m ready to get back to work.

“I’ve had tough journeys before in the past. It hasn’t been a smooth journey to play for Everton and to captain my country.

“I’m a fighter and there’s a part of me that’s looking forward to this challenge. It’s something to start all over again and fight for.

“I’m focussed, upbeat, it has happened now and I have to get on with it.”

The Republic of Ireland players were shocked and saddened by the terrible injury suffered by their team-mate Seamus Coleman

Sportsfile

The Republic of Ireland players were shocked and saddened by the terrible injury suffered by their team-mate Seamus Coleman

While Coleman starts the long journey back to fitness, Taylor, red carded for the wild lunge, received an additional one-match suspension from Fifa’s disciplinary committee.

Fifa cited Article 48 of their disciplinary code that states at least one match should be served for serious foul play, ‘particularly in the case of excessive or brute force.’

The ruling means remorseful Taylor, who apologised to Coleman after the incident, will miss qualifiers against Serbia in June and Austria at home in September.

But, privately, the Welsh FA are relieved because they feared the punishment would be more severe.

For Coleman, he is unlikely to play again until next year after starting his rehab at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground.

It was a horrible scene during the World Cup Qualifier as Seamus Coleman was taken off the pitch with a horror injury

PA:Press Association

It was a horrible scene during the World Cup Qualifier as Seamus Coleman was taken off the pitch with a horror injury

Seamus Coleman has been one of the most consistent performers for Everton over the last few years

PA:Press Association

Seamus Coleman has been one of the most consistent performers for Everton over the last few years

He added: “I’ve started with very small exercises in the gym. I’ve been doing some walking in the pool and aqua-jogging. It’s just good to be doing something, back in and around the club and feeling like a professional footballer again.

“The support from the people in Ireland was amazing. It’s something I won’t forget.

“Until something like this happens you don’t realise how fortunate you are to play for Everton, Ireland and to have all that support behind me.

“The manager (Ronald Koeman) came over to see with Jags and a couple of staff members. Martin O’Neill came over to see me as well so the support has been brilliant.

“It was great to be around my family and friends back home but I’ve been itching to get back.

“I couldn’t possibly thank everyone because there’s too many but it’s my job now to do the rest and get back on that pitch.

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